04 Sep Discovering Innovatur (II)
After knowing in the first part of this article how the own partners define this European project and why they believe it necessarily, it is now the shift of which they themselves explain also how it is going to develop and what is going to suppose Innovatur.
Luis Gutiérrez Valido (L.G.V.). Cabildo de Tenerife. Tourism.
Assis Correia (A.C.). Associação Comercial e Industrial do Funchal. Câmara de Comércio e Industria da Madeira.
Ricardo Martínez Cedrés ( R.M.C.) Turismo de Tenerife.
Sancha Cruz (S.C.) Câmara do Comércio de Angra do Heroísmo.
What is the loss in value of the selected tourism areas due to?
L.G.V: In terms of infrastructures, it is not only the hotel or commercial part. Everything needs to be reformed, improved, updated and maintained. The time has come for this to happen in certain parts of these destinations.
A.C: I would say that this is due to a number of factors which have unfortunately overlapped, harming the tourist regions involved. In the case of Madeira, between 2008 and 2010 there was a dramatic drop in all tourism indicators, which greatly weakened the sector. We have gone through a severe economic crisis that is not over yet; we have experienced natural disasters (floods and fires in Madeira, volcanic ash from Iceland, etc.); and we also face competition from other tourist destinations. All this, combined with the absence of a strategy for the sector over many years and the lack of resources for the necessary renovations, has had dramatic effects that are still very visible today, despite the recovery we have seen in the main statistical indicators.
R.M.C: A hotel, a shop, someone’s house, a vehicle, in reality none of these things lasts forty years. We have to renovate or renew them and adapt them to the new reality. And that is what has happened. Both El Puerto de la Cruz and Los Cristianos, as tourism pioneers in Tenerife, have started a renovation process.
S.C: We don’t believe that the areas of intervention have lost value but rather that they have potential which is not yet fully exploited.
What methodologies are planned for the innovation of the destinations?
L.G.V: The idea is to work directly with the companies that have requested to be included in the programme, suggesting new business models to them, making conceptualisation proposals and coordinating their needs with the new ideas we give to them. In successive periods in the selection process we will end up obtaining the selected companies with their new business model, in which we can definitively develop the tailor-made draft for each of their businesses, whether accommodation or commercial, which will be the cherry on the cake.
A.C: Personalized studies will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team to identify the shortcomings in the current business model and its resources and partnerships in order to examine potential alternatives to the current model, with increased marketing potential that can add value to the destination.
R.M.C: The methodologies are very personalised, very much oriented towards the establishment and taking into consideration new trends, new demands, new fashions, new materials…What we want is to reach the entrepreneur, detect those accommodation and commercial establishments that require improvement, and identify the actors who want to get involved.
S.C: The innovation will be work with the companies from methods of analysis, study, specialist consultancy, concrete proposals and implementation.
What impact do you consider this project will have on the modernisation of the destinations involved?
L.G.V: Firstly, that it will be contagious and will encourage others to do something similar. But above all, the end goal is that, by obtaining finance to remodel their business (we will help them to find sources of finance), they end up doing it. In other words, that it doesn’t become a project that ends up in a drawer, but that it becomes real.
A.C: We hope to encourage the adoption of strategically aligned behaviours by different stakeholders, thus increasing tourists’ level of satisfaction and contributing to regional development by improving the tourism sector’s performance.
R.M.C: In the end, this needs to be felt in the balance at the end of the month; that is the impact, that the company has more activity, greater demand and that it generates more business; that the economic situation improves for all, and that employment increases, of course.
S.C: We believe that the impact could go far beyond the number of companies that we plan to work with directly, since others will certainly be boosted by the development and rejuvenation of the areas of intervention.
Would it make sense to have joint promotion strategies between the tourist destinations of Tenerife, Madeira and Terceira?
L.G.V: They are three different destinations with the same problems. Their joint promotion could be interesting; it would have to be studied.
A.C: It may be sensible to carry out joint promotions with the archipelagos of Macaronesia, and perhaps eventually to create a circuit with complementary offers. We cannot forget that accessibility is a crucial factor for regions such as ours, so this kind of strategy must have this aspect clearly defined. The specificities of each region must be taken into account, too.
R.M.C: We have similar situations but we deal with different clients, and as such, there could be synergies in some aspects. But although we are close, we are not that close. What could be established is a common theme to see how we could promote ourselves in tourism terms with similar values. For example, in the nature section, it could have quite an impact because there are aspects that we share a lot.
S.C: Certainly we believe that these locations, more than the competing destinations, complement each other and can clearly be enhanced through joint promotional strategies.